Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Treating Autism Through Diet

Nice article on gluten free and casein free diet here. It's good to see some research being done on this. Some excerpts:
"Why the diet seems to work isn't completely understood. One theory involves the "leaky gut syndrome," in which the autistic child's body isn't able to process proteins found in wheat and dairy products, said Gary Stobbe, medical director of Seattle's Autism Spectrum Treatment and Research Center, a non-profit organization that diagnoses, treats and manages people with autism. The undigested chunks of protein get into the blood stream and affect the brain. Another theory is the body's immune system is reacting to the proteins in the body."Nothing is determined for certain and there is no set approach with the diet," he said. "In my practice, it is something we encourage in younger kids or if we see a kid not making progress with more conventional therapies. "Stobbe said for some children, especially the more severe autism cases and those with physical complaints, the diet works well. They are calmer, have better attention spans and have less severe behavioral disturbances.Still no one knows whether this will work in the long term.
So far, only anecdotal evidence from parents is available.One study under way at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York looks at the effects of the diet in autistic children between the ages of 2 1/2 and 4 1/2. Sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health, it began in 2004 and should be completed in 2008.

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